Google set to classify ad dependent sites as spam

Posted on November 17, 2011

 

Search engine giant Google looks set to cause more than a few headaches with its latest initiative to fight spam sites on the web.

Speaking at PubCon 2011, the annual search and social media conference, Matt Cutts heavily intimated that sites need to take a close look at how they use advertising on their sites.

Google’s head of web spam said:

“What really matter(s) (is) how much content is above the fold. If ads obscure content, you might need to think about it.”

It all adds up to a spamming flag being incorporated on search results, which many people are likely to use as a critical decision factor before they click.

The announcement is likely to be met with differing opinions.

As internet users one and all, it is unlikely we have not experienced the sheer frustration caused by over zealous advertising. There you are excited about the content your search has returned, only to find it takes much scrolling and link clicking to get to where you actually want to be. And don’t get me started on pop up ads!

However, so many sites rely on advertising as a major source of revenue. Not just small companies either, but quite large well known brands; commercial TV companies immediately spring to mind. As such, it could cause a complete rethink of many SEO strategies.

There will be recourse available, through an appeal to the web spam team. How smoothly and fair this process will be though, is something that only time will tell.

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